Our Process

The shared values we bring to every project begin with a desire to enhance a sense of place, to honor the craft of construction, and to embrace balance and restraint. For more than 30 years, Lake|Flato has brought these values to bear when collaborating with owners, users, designers and builders to create long-lived, flexible, and adaptive buildings that are simple, elegant, and thoughtful responses to both human and environmental needs.

Accomplishing a project with high aspirations requires a process as purposeful as the intent. Lake|Flato employs an integrated design approach that seeks to build upon the collective wisdom of each team member, beginning at the earliest stages of the design process. Our unique utilization of integrated design workshops, more holistic than typical sustainability charrettes, overlays environmental context on building programs to identify synergies between sustainable strategies and programs. This allows the design team to prioritize the strategies that offer the most significant benefits and unique opportunities to the programs and users of the building. The documentation from such a charrette serves as a living document that guides the entire team throughout the project.

Lake|Flato’s strong project management approach is also key to ensuring a successful project. Our project managers work closely with the design team, client and all stakeholders, developing and reviewing building plans from the earliest stages, overseeing construction contracts, and supervising the construction of the project while ensuring all standards and project deadlines are met. It is through attentive and thorough project management that Lake|Flato is able to achieve buildings that accurately reflect the vision of the client and the goals of all stakeholders. 

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    Evaluating Study Models
  • Austin Central Library Charrette.jpg

    Austin Central Library Charrette
  • Early renderings of San Antonio Children's Museum.jpg

    Hand Rendering by Partner Matt Morris
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    Integrated Design Charrette

To serve each client’s project vision, we select strategies and technologies that have the maximum impact. We integrate Building Information Modeling (BIM) software and processes into all levels of the firm to explore, test and quantify design and energy performance goals. From the project inception, BIM processes holistically address the full spectrum of design, construction and operations issues, delivering tangible added value in the form of model-based analysis, visualization, coordination, quantities and clash detection at a minimum. BIM gives the design team more control and confidence in the final outcome of the project, delivering optimal value to the owner by yielding a higher quality and completeness of design.

Similarly, Post-Occupancy Evaluations are an important part of Lake|Flato’s process, enabling owners to become active participants in the continued performance of their projects upon completion. Data collection and the analysis of energy consumption and user comfort provides a feedback loop to enhance continuous improvement processes, refine fit between occupants and their buildings, reduce waste of space and energy, lower ownership/operational expenses, and strengthen competitive advantages in the marketplace.

In the end, we believe that our clients have as much to gain from the design journey as they do the end result. Through our comprehensive, thoughtful and collaborative approach to the design process, we are able to surpass client expectations while ensuring a consistently high level of quality in our work.

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Though there are often a number of hands 'touching' a project, their clear design philosophy allows Lake|Flato to maintain a highly consistent design quality.
Peter Bohlin, FAIA
Principal, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson